Episode 31: The Magic of Meatballs

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What can be served plain or in soup, with pasta or in sandwiches, covered with sauce or with dip on the side, spiced for any cuisine, to people of any age, in oversized sandwiches or dainty with toothpicks, packed with vegetables or even leftovers… shall we go on? We can. Because meatballs? They’re magic for a family cook.

We know that making meatballs can end up a production, but this week we have all the tips to ensure that it doesn’t. Follow them and meatballs will become a weeknight go-to — you’ll even have leftovers.


The Magic of Meatballs

Balls always win

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Be warned: It was hard to talk about meatballs for 35 minutes without indulging our inner tween humor. The episode kicks off with Stacie telling Meghan about Meatballs (which, by the way, is available on Netflix) and has its fair share of juvenile jokes about balls. But fear not! We also get to plenty of practical info, because meatballs… they’re magical. They’re nearly always a family dinner win.


I didn’t know meat had balls!
— Stacie

These are just some of the reasons that meatballs are one of our favorite family meals. They:

  • can be shared with kids at any age

  • make great finger food and are even fantastic for baby led weaning

  • are endlessly adaptable

  • can be made to suit nearly any cuisine

  • can be added to soup, tucked into all manner of sandwiches, added to noodle bowls or tossed with pasta, served on their own with crusty bread on the side, and more

  • can be made big, medium, small, or even cocktail-sized for parties

  • can be made with a huge variety of ingredients, including combinations of meat, vegetarian options like chickpeas or tofu, and can easily stand to have veggies, leftovers, and even healthy add-in’s like wheat germ added — and still taste totally delicious

And did we mention that they’re almost always an easy sell? Usually as is, but they’re also easy to combine with other serving tricks that work well with kids, like serving food on a stick, turning food into shapes, and serving with dips.

How Many Sides Does a Meatball Have Anyway?

And other questions you should NOT ask.

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We know that making meatballs can seem like a production — and maybe it has been for you in the past — but we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be.

In this episode, we have ALL the tips to help make meatballs a simple, weeknight meal that you can mix up in one bowl and even end up with intentional leftovers for later in the week or for your freezer.

We go over everything you need to know so that:

  • you get the most flavor out of your meatballs

  • your meatballs don’t get tough

  • you can cook them faster

  • you can cook them in your oven and still get them browned

  • you can freeze them easily

  • you can have meatball nextovers

  • you can prep/form them faster and more easily

… and more.

Meghan also thinks that you need to have a good frozen meatball that you always have on hand. If you don’t already have a brand you love, she has tips on what to look for while searching for one. Her favorite brands are regional (Celentano and Aidells), but we’ll get a conversation going in our Listeners’ Group on Facebook to find out your favorite brands too.


Some people are advocates for world peace, others for animal rights. While I’m for both, I’m most known for my meatball advocacy, and proud of it.
— Stacie, MAKE IT EASY cookbook

What is your favorite meatball recipe?

Let us know on Facebook, where you can find us as @didntijustfeedyou. If you’re a listener and know the answer to the secret question, you can also join our Listeners’ Group to get exclusive tips, recipes, giveaways, and more — this week, including Jenny’s Turkey Meatball recipe, which is one of Stacie’s kids’ absolute favorites!


 

Favorite Meatball Recipes

A good meatball is a keeper

Photo: Joe Lingeman for Kitchn

On one hand, you can never have too many great meatball recipes, but on the other, we only have a few because we revisit the ones we love over and over.

After all, a good meatball is a keeper.

These are the meatball recipes that we make over and over. If you listened to this week’s episode, you know the password that gets you into our Facebook Listeners’ Group — join us there to share your favorite meatball recipes too.

St. Patrick’s Day Treats Lightening Round

Do we have to?

Lucky Charms Donuts: an easy treat you can make with store-bought donuts for St. Patrick's Day at Studio DIY | featured at Didn't I Just Feed You, a food podcast for parents

We just can’t with St. Patrick’s Day. Sorry. But still, for you, we attempt to drum up some fun, easy ideas to get in the spirit.

Honestly, though, we want to hear from you…

If you’re super into celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with your family and going all out for your kid (leprechaun trap, anyone?), hop onto the Didn’t I Just Feed You Facebook page and tell us WHY! (Ha!) Also tell us what you do or make for your kids, because this is all we could come up with:


Follow us on Instagram!

It’s a party!

Follow @didntijustfeedyou on Instagram! (You can also follow Stacie, @staciebillis, and Meghan, @stirandscribble) | Didn't I Just Feed You, a food podcast for parents

Be sure to follow Stacie @staciebillis and Meghan @stirandscribble on Instagram. And of course, together, they are @didntijustfeedyou. Follow along!